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Seminar: Linguistic Cartography: Mapping Linguistic Theory, 6 July

Australian National University

Date: 2 July 2018

Seminar: Linguistic Cartography: Mapping Linguistic Theory

Speakers: Sunny Ananthanarayan, Siva Kalyan, Eri Kashima, and Naomi Peck

When: Friday 6 July, 3.30pm-5pm

Where: Bashan Room, Baldessin Building, ANU


This seminar seeks to receive feedback on a student led project to map and present contemporary linguistic theories and their influences. Through our independent experiences, it came to our attention that many linguistics students and young linguists are not taught much about the history and evolution of linguistic theory. This lack of knowledge comes to the forefront in discussions about evolving theory as well as those regarding simply doing things a different way from what we’re used to. What’s more-- it’s one thing to learn about the theories themselves, but it gives an extra depth of understanding if we are shown how they came to be and what theories they are related to.

LinguisTree is a resource that shows the “advised by” relationship for linguists, but what about others? What about “inspired by, but built upon,” or, on the contrary, “responded to with a counterargument”? There are many relationships between entities (both people and their works) in academia, and our goal has been to map out these more complex relationships while also spelling out exactly how the theories in question work.

 Linguistree screenshot

Over the past six months, we have been meeting and discussing how linguistic theory has sprouted and grown over the past millennia. We have been drawing on our own knowledge as well as books and the resources the internet has to offer. Much of the information we’re seeking is out there, but we would like to make it accessible. In order to achieve this, we may develop an entirely new ontology in order to best represent what is relevant, but for now we are implementing the RDF Schema and OWL with a web viewer, WebVOWL, so we can visualize these relationships.

Our seminar will include a presentation of a snippet of the relationships we have discussed, implemented in WebVOWL, as well as an interactive session drawing on the knowledge of people in attendance and the resources available to us to learn about the history of linguistics in Australia, a topic we have not yet touched given its relative infancy.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University